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June 30, 2022 

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WPI: The abbreviation for Wholesale Price Index, which is an index of the prices paid by retail stores for the products they would ultimately resell to consumers. The Wholesale Price Index, abbreviated WPI, was the forerunner of the modern Producer Price Index (PPI). The WPI was first published in 1902, and was one of the more important economic indicators available to policy makers until it was replaced by the PPI in 1978. The change to Producer Price Index in 1978 reflected, as much as a name change, a change in focus of this index away from the limited wholesaler-to-retailer transaction to encompass all stages of production. While the WPI is no longer available, the family of producer price indexes provides a close counterpart in the Finished Goods Price Index.

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EMPLOYED PERSONS

People who are actively engaged in the production of goods and services. This is one of three official categories used to classify individuals by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) based on information obtained from the Current Population Survey. The other two categories are unemployed persons and not in the labor force. The sum of employed persons and unemployed persons constitutes the civilian labor force.

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Fact 4: Our Monopolized Markets

Our pedestrian's jaunt through the economy is not, unfortunately, an unrestrained shopping spree for confectioneries, spark plug tools, and Houston, Texas. We have other important errands to run. At the moment we need to hike over to Shady Valley's exclusive provider of cable television services, the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television Company, Inc., to inquire about a mysterious fee that appeared last month's bill.

The good news is that the Merciless Monolithic Media Masters (the 4M people) Cable office is a mere 2 miles (3 kilometers for the metrically inclined) from the Shady Valley Central Town Sprawling Hills Shopping Mall. A hop, skip, and a moderately long jump later, our excursion through the economy takes us to the front door of the 4M Cable Television Company where I hope to discover why last month's cable bill included a $3,569 charge for something called "The Vacation Channel." I didn't even know I had a vacation channel. (But, I'm sure it's a great channel, and if I don't have it, then I will certainly subscribe. Please don't disconnect me.)

Of course, because this an afternoon workday, the doors of the 4M office are locked. I can almost make out, through the expensive stained glass windows, what appears to be several Merciless Monolithic Media Masters Cable Television employees, with champaign bottles in hand, dancing on expensive mahogany desks. Let's not disturb them. As they say in the cable business, an upset worker is a disconnected customer.
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time at a garage sale seeking to buy either a birthday gift for your grandmother or a T-shirt commemorating yesterday. Be on the lookout for deranged pelicans.
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